Would you consider inviting select guests to the ceremony only? Do you let them know that they are not invited to the reception or pretend like it is a ceremony only wedding? (I have blogged about Ceremony only weddings here if you want to read more about them)
I think this one is really tough and think that there are only a few situations that you can do this yet I still don’t really understand how you can do this without offending people. I know that on a few occasions my sister has been invited to the ceremony only part of a wedding. I remember thinking that it is was quite odd. It kind of feels like we like you, but not enough that we will pay for your meal. The celebrant part of me gets it in a way. I’m used to attending just the ceremony of a wedding, and to me the ceremony is the wedding. The party afterwards is the gravy, awesome and great fun. I love the celebration, but if there isn’t a reception, the couple are still married.
I have heard that people want to invite all the people from their church or work group to come along to the ceremony but not invite them to the wedding. I wonder though, do people feel that if they are invited to the ceremony should they be invited to the reception. I’m not sure how you would word this on the invitation and how do you keep track of the RSVP’s? Is a gift expected if you don’t get an invite to the reception? It is all a bit confusing for me.
We had people come to our wedding because they wanted to come to the ceremony and we hadn’t invited them. One of my uncle’s drove trucks and made sure that he drove through Mildura on my wedding day so he could see it. It was a lovely surprise. We didn’t really mind if people came to the ceremony, but our reception venue only held 50 people. I did have one of my relatives ring me up and ask why they weren’t being invited to the wedding at all. Once I said that there was only space for 50 guests, they suggested that I change the venue and have it catered by another relative. I replied that this was where I had my heart set on and that I wasn’t changing it. They said that they wanted to be a part of my special day, despite not having seen me for a number of years. I suggested that they could come over when I was in my track suit and we could have a special day together. This didn’t really go over too well. I then mentioned that we were having a BBQ the following day at my in-laws house and, if they wanted to, they could attend that. If they would like, they were more than welcome to come to the ceremony. Funnily enough, they didn’t come to either and I’ve probably seen them twice in the 16 years that I have been married. What I’m trying to say is that unless someone asked me, or questioned where their invite was, I didn’t think to invite people just to the ceremony, only as I’m not sure how I would feel if someone asked me to so that.
The only experience that I have had with a similar thing to this, was one of my work colleges had their wedding in their home on a Friday and that was a really small intimate affair where they had a ceremony and a lovely sit down meal with about 15 of their immediate family. The night after they had a finger food reception in a basement of a pub and it was fantastic. I get this that sometimes you want to have just a really intimate ceremony and then a party with all the people that you couldn’t invite to the small affair. My best friend did the same thing, (you can read all about her wedding renewal of vows here), where a select group of family and friends came on the boat journey for the ceremony and a lunch and then everyone met up for a huge awesome party at the end. I can see why people might want to do things like this and just have the ceremony small and intimate. I’m just not sure that I understand when people do it the other way around.
What do you think? Would you be offended and not go to the wedding, if you were only invited for the ceremony? Do you think that if people are invited to the ceremony that they should be invited to the wedding?